Solar panels recently installed on the roof of Karori Recreation Centre in Wellington will help to cut running costs and power the facility using renewable energy sources.
The 5kW solar array is the first such installation on a Wellington City Council building to be connected to the local grid. At its peak production, it will generate enough electricity to run lights, computer equipment and heating systems in the recreation centre.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Council is keen to trial solar technology as a viable alternative to simply relying on grid electricity for Council buildings.
“The cost of installing solar panels has come down significantly in the past five years and this trial will help us to understand the pay-back on our investment. It won’t run everything at the recreation centre all the time but on a sunny day it will make a real dent in the bills.
“In the longer term this is about reducing Wellington City’s greenhouse gas emissions and doing so using smart, renewable technology. We’ve also made it easier for people to install solar panels on private houses by removing the requirement to get resource consent as part of encouraging uptake of solar energy.”
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) contributed $8000 towards the $19,000 cost of this demonstration project.